Princeton University sues DOE to halt release of admissions documents

Princeton University filed a lawsuit against the Department of Education on Friday to stop the release of hundreds of pages of documents that would reveal data, policies and practices of the school’s admissions office, Politico has reported.

Hundreds of documents were obtained by the DOE as part of a seven-year civil rights investigation into whether the university was discriminating against Asian and Asian-American applicants. The investigation was closed in 2015 and the DOE found insufficient evidence to support the claims of racial discrimination by a group called Students for Fair Admissions. The group has been attempting to access documents in the case via a freedom of information request.

The DOE has already released 868 documents under the FOIA request, and officials are reviewing another 861 documents.

Princeton’s lawsuit seeks to halt the release of the remaining documents on the grounds that they contain commercially sensitive and confidential information that “would cause substantial competitive harm to the university if disclosed.”

The university already attempted to stop the FOIA request from being granted, but last month the DOE rejected Princeton’s request for an exemption. Officials from the DOE said they would redact any identifiable information regarding school applicants.

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